I began blogging a little over two months ago, but in that short period of time my reading has undergone some changes. Since starting Hannah and Her Books, I’ve noticed that I’ve been reading more, reading with an analytical eye, and reading diversely, but I’ve also been feeling pressured and stuck.
I read more.
When I started college, my excessive workload forced me to put reading on the back burner. However, starting this blog has made reading a priority again. I am always carrying a book, and I make sure to set aside reading time every day, either right after I wake up in the morning, right before I got to bed, or other random times throughout the day such as between classes or during lunch.
I read analytically.
Since I started blogging, I’ve looked deeper into the books I’ve read to really understand what I like and dislike about them. Reading has become more than just simply absorbing books, but rather taking them apart like a puzzle and examining the pieces and how they work together.
I read diversely.
Blogging has allowed me to discover so many books I never would’ve found without being a part of this online community of bibliophiles. I’ve stumbled upon so many different novels and authors across a wide variety of genres, and I’ve been picking up books written by POC, like Homegoing and Behold the Dreamers.
I feel pressured.
One of the cons of book blogging is all the pressure that comes along with it. There is the pressure to read “popular” books, the ones that everyone else is talking about, so that I can stay relevant. There is the pressure to read new books, even though it means less rereading, which I used to do all the time! I also feel pressured to read as much as everyone else, even if I don’t have the time; I’m happy if I manage to finish two or three books a month, but others are reading fifteen or twenty. Lastly, there’s the pressure to write positive (read: dishonest) reviews, because no one likes a Negative Nancy.
I feel stuck.
I feel stuck in the sense that I am always reading books I’ve heard of before. When I shop for books, either in person or online, I find myself buying books that I recognize, compared to when I was a young girl and I just perused the shelves for a book that looked good. Not to say there’s anything wrong with that, but I guess I just miss being surprised by a book.
Overall, blogging has been a rewarding experience thus far; it has definitely changed the way I read, perhaps for the better.